Sep. 27th, 2010 05:57 pm
radegund: (Default)
[personal profile] radegund
It turns out, right, that living in squalor is really not where I want to be.

But all our housekeeping mechanisms broke down in the onslaught of 2009 (the construction of the south wing) and the early part of 2010 (my vitamin B12 deficiency), and they're only just beginning to come back.

I still feel at sea. So I'm going to take a leaf out of [livejournal.com profile] ailbhe's book and start by keeping track, every so often, on a haphazard schedule and without rigid criteria, of the stuff I do.

I think it may help, at least to pinpoint what's getting done, what areas of work are "mine", what's being neglected, and so on.

Here's today's:

* Breakfast for self, Oyster and Feaster
* Clear breakfast, wipe honey off surfaces
* Empty dishwasher
* Run bath, put Oyster and Feaster in bath while I shower
* Wash down shower
* Clip 20 fingernails (Oyster, Feaster) and 20 toenails (Feaster, me)
* Wash children's hair, towel them off
* Wipe down filthy dusty kid loo seat (has been sitting on shelf for at least 18 months)
* Supervise two peeing attempts (Feaster)
* Dress self, find clothes for children
* Strip peed-upon bed
* Dress Feaster, help dress Oyster
* Open post
* Address choked kitchen, fill dishwasher
* Put load of washing on (from rucksack that came home with us yesterday)
* Nip to Superquinn for essentials (alone(!) after K arrived)
* Scrape out and wash grill pan (yuck)
* Grill pig for lunch
* Change garden-puddle-soaked Feaster (shoes, socks, trousers, and incidentally nappy)
* Serve (rudimentary, unappetising, bleagh) lunch to self, two boys, and K [NB: O got himself pecan nuts]
* Take clean washing out of machine, put second load on (from rucksack and downstairs basket)
* E-mail patchwork admin person about weekend workshop for which I need requirements list
* Bring Oyster to music class, wait outside, bring him home
* Change Feaster's dirty nappy
* Bring basket of used nappies to the bin
* Clear lunch, finish filling dishwasher and run it

That brings us to 17:25ish, when I started writing this. I may come back later and update when I've done some more.


* Clean washing out of machine, third load on (kitchen cloths and a sheet that got muddy on the line)
* Remake Oyster's bed (stripped on foot of Feaster-pee)
* Make Feaster's bed, neaten duvets on spare bed
* Put stripped bedlinen and dirty towels in laundry basket
* Inaugurate new give-away box

Moar update:

* Make and serve dinner (spinach and poached eggs on toast, raw carrots)
* Hang out first two loads of washing
* Finish unpacking groceries and put shopping bags away
* Hang out third load of washing
* Tiny bit of kitchen clearing

There are mountains of laundry waiting upstairs, and the kitchen backlog will take a while to clear. I want to be doing things like building the new utility room shelves, but clean clothes, meals, and a usable kitchen take precedence.

Maybe I'll get to measure and mark the timber for the shelves this evening. If I can find my effing set square, dammit. I hate it when my tools go missing.

Question: Are you overwhelmed by the maintenance of your living space, or does it feel basically under control? If the latter, what are your top tips?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 06:01 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
How under control it feels depends entirely on how energetic Tony & I are: if we are tired or stressed or ill then it starts going downhill. Once a week the cleaner comes to clean the bathrooms & kitchen and run the vacuum cleaner around: this prods us to at least clear the floors and surfaces to allow this, and it keeps a basic level of hygiene going.

Tony is usually better than I am at general maintenance: he likes to ensure the kitchen is nice and tidy after using before and after work, and he often is the one clearing up the thin layer of toys off the living room floor. Recently he's been better than me at ensuring things like the washing machine and dishwasher get tended.

One thing that is sort-of working for me is I wrote a checklist each for morning, getting-home, and going-to-bed. They are on post-it notes inside my diary (this also means I look at my diary 2-3 times a day, in theory). On the days when I manage everything on every checklist, it makes a difference. I don't always do so, in which case things are no worse than they were before. Having them on post-its means I can always change them in future if they don't work out.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] biascut.livejournal.com
Realising you don't want to live in squalor is a HUGE first step, I think - when you realise that you're tidying and cleaning because you want to live in a house which is tidy and clean, rather than because there is some external authority which will Disapprove of you if you don't. It doesn't make it entirely fun and games, but it helps a lot.

Alas, my top tip for living somewhere tidy and clean is to share it with another adult who also likes living somewhere tidy and clean, and does at least 50% of the work required to keep it that way. Not so much of an option for you!

We generally say that our division of labour is that Glitz is tidy and I am clean. I get frustrated when I can see dust and much in corners, and usually crack eveyr fortnight and get the hoover out, wipe window sills and things and clean the bathroom. She's much better at emptying the laundry than me, and also sees piles of washing up as a challenge rather than a a chore. We both like going through piles of letters and chucking everything except the stuff that really needs keeping in teh recycling, and then taking the stuff that is for keeping up to the filing cabinet. I think neither of us leaves that kind of thing more than two or three days.

Both of us really see mess as stuff we don't want to live with, though. I don't like sorting out piles of laundry, but seeing it depresses me more than doing it, so I just get on with it.

ETA: oh, other thing that makes a huge difference for me (us, I think) is knowing that we both appreciate the other cleaning. If I do the bathroom, I am half thinking "hooray! I am making a clean bathroom for Helen!" And I know she'll notice the bathroom and come and say, "You cleaned the bathroom! Thank you so much!" And vice versa. We don't have any formal division of labour, which means that we both see everything that needs doing as "my" job, and when the other person does something, we feel genuinely grateful because that's one less job to do.
Edited Date: 2010-09-27 07:07 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sorenr.livejournal.com
Personally I can honestly say that my flat looks like a tip. It looked all right when Denis arrived a week before the wedding, but then that week was spent being focused on the wedding, him, going away for a few days etc., and the flat started looking a bit ratty. Then came the wedding with a gazillion bottles of wine left over and quite a few presents (in spite of the gift list saying only "contributions to honeymoon"), so npw my flat looks like a cluttered wine storage because I've been down with a lurgy since before Denis left the country and I've just not had the energy.

Quite frankly, if I - a single person with a tiny flat - can feel this overwhelmed, I wonder how it might be for people with proper houses and kids... I am in awe of you guys!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 08:19 pm (UTC)
ext_9215: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hfnuala.livejournal.com
We're still at the struggling out from being underwhelmed stage. Things that help:

I'm trying to take note of what things are just wandering from one place to another and giving them a place.

We currently don't have a desk and that's a huge cause of problems as paperwork wanders everywhere. So we're currently prioritising finding a desk that works in our small space.

I just tidied Aisling's room properly for the first time in ages and I managed it by designating one box as for 'things that need sorting later (e.g. jigsaws that needing checking all the pieces were there, etc) That way perfection wasn't the enemy of good enough.

Storage stuff. Not necessarily more, but the right ones in the right places.

Sadly, getting rid of things as Sibhe grows out of them is really helping while also being an emotional wrench.

But our biggest solution is storage space and putting more and more stuff in there. We have a small flat and I have a lot of stuff. So deciding I like a clean place more than I like having all my books/yarn/kitchen stuff right there is where I'm trying to get to.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merryhouse.livejournal.com
For a while I would start methodically in One Room! and work until that one was done; the idea being that all the stuff removed from that room would get carted around and eventually end up in the right place.

Eventually I realised that this was never going to work, and divided up tasks onto separate days (Tuesday sweep dining room and wash either porch or dining-room floor, Wednesday either clean inside windows or wipe out one kitchen cupboard, and so forth). Then if it didn't get done, well it waited till next time and I didn't worry too much.

I don't think I have everything on the list, but I haven't entirely stuck to it recently anyway. I still clean the bathroom and hoover upstairs on Fridays (usually). I don't have to spend the first twenty minutes after getting back from school on deciding what I ought to do, I can just get on and do it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-27 09:05 pm (UTC)
ext_9215: (Default)
From: [identity profile] hfnuala.livejournal.com
Also, how do you feel about Fly Lady? I've never done the full one emailing system, but I find the websites articles can really help me with specific stuff. And I do know people who have been really helped by the full on system and managed to ignore the twee.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-28 06:42 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (domestic bliss)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
Order your shopping online. I cannot tell you how much time this has bought us, and if you choose anti-social delivery hours, it is not expensive.

I am tidy, Mary is clean; the less stuff there is, the more room there is to put it in and the less chance there is that it gets all over the place.

Can you restrict certain activities to certain rooms? That might lessen the likelihood of plastic trains all over the floor of the study, computer cables in bed and knitting bodkins in the dinner. It is a counsel of perfection that I would like to follow. Equally, when timetabling activities, plan in the time needed to clear up after each activity. This gets me every time - I always forget how long drying up, shutting down my computer or putting away the laundry takes, and run out of time on it. And schedule cleaning-free time - otherwise you'll be shattered!

Do the boys have chores? That might help, but as a non-parent I can't advise. Oh, and bulk cook as much food as you humanly can! Poached eggs and spinach on toast is delicious, but none of it can be done in advance.

Good luck!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-28 09:39 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
No food beyond the dining room door, and cooking loads of meals in advance and freezing them, are the things which make the biggest difference to me. That, and doing things as soon as I see they need to be done, boo hiss. But that one's harder.

I so want spinach and eggs and toast now.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-28 09:44 pm (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
I mean, ROB cooking loads of meals, not me. You know this but other readers mightn't, and I don't want to shortchange him!


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